There are two topics that go nicely together in my money lifestyle – walking and saving money. It may seem like talking about walking and saving money are at odds for a personal finance magazine, but not really. By the time you finish reading this post, I think you’re see my logic.
Why am I bringing up this conversation? As it is financial literacy month, it seemed a great opportunity to share an idea on how to save money that goes beyond just saving dollars and cents at the grocery checkout using coupons or savvy saving techniques.
To begin, there is one fact that most of you are aware as it’s discussed frequently in the news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are telling us that, “34.9% or 78.6 million of U.S. adults are obese.” In fact, they note the following: (1)
“Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”
Since I am not in the medical profession nor is this a health or medical publication, we will not delve into the science between being overweight and related health challenges as referenced above. However, it goes without saying that there are costs to your bottom line despite any health insurance coverage you may possess, if you experience obesity-related condition(s). Consider the following four costs, which are not all-inclusive but common to chronic illness:
√ Cost of your insurance co-pay for a doctor’s visit
√ Cost of medical tests
√ Cost of medication
√ Cost of lost work time due to illness
Clearly, one of the tactics from the toolbox we can use for better health is walking. So, let’s return to the issue of walking and saving money. Today, I wanted to share with you how rewarding walking has been for me in my exercise program. Indeed, it has become an integral part of my lifestyle.
At the top of today’s Post, I indicated I was going to share three reasons walking can save you money. Here are the ways walking has saved me money:
Reason #1: Save on the cost of a gym membership
Why spend money on a gym membership when you can walk outside for free? I put in a good 1 hour walk every day. Mind you, this is not a casual stride. I move along at a steady clip. I love the fresh air, good cardio workout, and a time to relax the mind.
Reason #2: Save big money on cab fees
My financial literacy work takes me downtown to Chicago. I also enjoy visiting the City of Chicago as it has so many activities and beautiful scenes to see. (Check out Money Smart Week 2016: Museums in Chicago!) I walk to my destinations unless the distance is too far or the weather intolerable.
Reason #3: Spend time thinking and planning
There isn’t any business professional who doesn’t have a crazy schedule. The challenge is carving out the time to think, plan, and focus. Not a problem when you go for a daily walk. As for me, I’m armed with a Note app on my phone. I dictate the ideas, thoughts, and plans while I walk. At the end of my walk, I email the notes to myself.
I’d be remiss not to say that I really do feel better when I walk. As a business owner, I’ve found this designated time really a necessity. It is truly the only and best opportunity for quality think time. And, since I’m exercising, it’s a double return on my time investment as it’s helping me maintain better health. Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin Group, shared his perspective on the importance of taking care of your health first. (See How To Take Care Of Business? Take Care Of Yourself.) I totally agree!
If your daily lifestyle doesn’t include walking, even if you’re managing a different workout routine, add it. Walking can not only save you money in a variety of ways, but be one tool to help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Your homework assignment is super simple! Pick at least 3 days a week that you can walk. In time, build up your walking schedule to 5 days a week.
Also, find opportunities to walk instead of cabbing it or parking extra close to the store or restaurant entry. Alone, that saves you on cab fees or perhaps valet parking, when possible.
(1) Adult Obesity Facts, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website